Saturday, 6 December 2014

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Carnedd Wen

06.12.14  Yr Allt  (SJ 242 100)   

Yr Allt (SJ 242 100)
I’ve often wondered where the inner drive for hill bagging comes from.  After all completions for many lists are years ahead from the time when one first starts ticking and purposely bagging.  I suspect some part is driven by the beauty of our hills, but the inner drive, that element that is hard to quantify must in some regards be a part of the subconscious.  Possibly it’s an elemental thing, a force of nature, pushing one onward.

I’ve experienced this inner drive and have been led by my own agenda, forever bagging another hill and placing a tick against it in another list.  For me part of this is an inner mentality to collect.  Since an early age I collected things, and I now realise that my hill bagging is driven by a similar need.  I wonder if it is the same for other people.

When driven by this need one is led from one hill to the next, seldom re-visiting as there is always a new hill to bag.  Once that final hill is attained in that list that has been painstakingly followed for however long, a sense of anti-climax can be felt, until at least the inner drive takes a hold again and another list and another hill is found.  The possibilities are endless for as long as the inner drive remains.

I’ve found over recent years that I am happy enough to be led if a friend wants to visit a certain hill, even if I’ve been there before.  I find this comforting, but my goals have not been forgotten and although that inner drive that pushed me on for many years to bag the next unticked hill, has to some extent been replaced, my goals are now selected and savoured in a more leisurely way.

Part of this change from an inner need to a more leisurely adoption of chose was practiced this morning, as the hill I visited is local and I have been up it on a number of occasions.  It is a hill that makes a pleasant walk and one that can be done from my front door which is a fulfilling feeling.  The hill is Yr Allt and it is one of a number of Humps and Marilyns that almost encircle the Severn valley around Welshpool.

However, that inner drive and ulterior motive was not completely absent as although I’d visited the hill on numerous occasions, I had never surveyed it, and as it has no map spot height on its summit with just a 230m uppermost contour ring, I could gain a leisurely and enjoyable early morning walk and obtain the first accurate absolute height for the hill.

I locked my front door at 7.55am and walked down the estate and onto the canal tow path to the road crossing on the outskirts of Welshpool next to the Flash Leisure Centre.  The Montgomery Canal is partially restored and runs 33 miles from the Llangollen Canal at Frankton Junction to Newtown.  It gives pleasant walking, albeit quite flat, as one would expect, but it can be used to access a number of P30’s from my front door.

Sign on the tow path
The land either side of the canal tow path was still, and etched in morning frost, quite beautiful in feeling with quietness pervading.  As the sun struggled over the elongated ridge of Cefn Digoll the world awoke and the rhythmic hum of vehicles on the A483 droned in the background as morning Swans and bobbing Moorhens accompanied me as I walked northward toward Pool Quay.

Early morning frost contrasting with the above photograph taken three hours later
Above the black morning waters of the canal Yr Allt rose up with wooded eastern slopes and close cropped grassed western ones.  Except for the rhythmic hum of vehicles that can surprisingly disappear from one’s mind, the quietness of solitude lent gentleness to the land, once the colour cast down from the wooded slopes reflections in the water accentuated the complication of tree growth.

Reflections pointing the way ahead
Morning sunshine edging toward lower ground
Complication of tree growth
Quietness of solitude
Once I reached Pool Quay I left the comforting confines of the canal and gained height past Dyers Farm on a footpath over fields.  The last time I had been this way was with Mark Trengove, thankfully we had chosen to wear wellies which proved a wise decision, today the fields were in the first throngs of winter coldness with little mud and slosh in evidence.

The sun was now wiping the land with sublime colour, all gentle and golden, highlighting beauty and etching profile to trees and hills.  Beyond the last field the Coppice Lane leads up past Coppice East Farm to a track through a deciduous wood, where pheasants scampered in all directions.

The Breiddin
When the track passed the last house the footpath continued onto a rising field and then proceeded over a stile toward the trig pillar, which is placed just below one of the two high points of the hill.

The trig pillar near the summit of Yr Allt with the Breiddin in the background
The first high point of Yr Allt is beyond the trig pillar in the background in this photo
I set the Trimble up beyond the trig with intention to get two data sets to compare the height difference between each high point.  As it gathered data I looked out across the Afon Hafren (River Severn) toward the Breiddin, with Moel y Golfa pyramidal in shape, this profile never disappoints.

Gathering data at the first of the two high points atop Yr Allt
Once five minutes of data were gathered I proceeded to the high point of the hill, set the Trimble to ‘Log’ and looked out toward the west where the Berwyn dominated the view with a faint dusting of snow on its upper ridge.

Gathering data at the second of the two high points atop Yr Allt
As I packed the Trimble away and descended the southerly slope of Yr Allt I looked out at the setting of the town I know as home, nestled amongst a series of rounded hills with Y Golfa, Pen y Parc, Cefn Digoll, Breiddin and Yr Allt hemming its life into a small space next to part of Britain’s longest river, with working fields and the arteries of roads fulfilling the need for travel and commerce.

Once across the fields I re-joined the canal tow path and leisurely made my way back home past reflections of picturesque stone bridges, under the accompaniment of the unseen mewing pee-oo of a buzzard and the flecks of white grazing adjacent fields.

Nearing home

Survey Result:

Yr Allt

Summit Height:  231.3m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 24240 10005

Drop:  105.2m (converted to OSGM15) (Hump status confirmed)

Dominance:  45.48% (Lesser Dominant status confirmed)

For the blog post on the bwlch survey of Yr Allt please click {here}

For the blog post on the 2nd summit survey of Yr Allt please click {here}

For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here}

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